Buzzer-Beater: Boston 2, Minnesota 1
- 3 min read

Buzzer-Beater: Boston 2, Minnesota 1

Buzzer-Beater: Boston 2, Minnesota 1 by Melissa Burgess

Hannah Brandt scored the game-winning goal in the final seconds of regulation to keep PWHL Boston's hopes of making the playoffs alive, with a 2-1 win over Minnesota.

What happened?

Fueled by a crowd of nearly 10,000 at Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota really came out strong in this game. They dominated most of the first two periods in both zone time and shots and had several high-quality scoring chances, while limiting Boston's possession and shots.

Boston seemed to find its footing a little as the middle frame went by, but Minnesota finally got on the board with 1:10 to play. After keeping it in at the blueline, Michela Cava got the puck across to Kendall Coyne Schofield. She fired a shot from the point, and while that didn't go in, Kelly Pannek backhanded the rebound in from in front.

Just as Minnesota scored late, Boston scored early. Alina Müller tied it on the power play 1:42 into the third period, scoring off a feed from defender Megan Keller. Keller, at the point, sent the puck to Müller, who picked her spot and fired it in, beating Nicole Hensley just under the arm. Hensley was screened in front by several players.

Boston seemed to find a revitalized energy after the goal and kept themselves in it as the clock wound down. Then, with just seconds left in regulation and the game still tied, Hannah Brandt went high-glove on a breakaway shot at the buzzer to give Boston the win. With just 2.7 seconds added back onto the clock after the goal, Boston stole the full three points in this one.

Three up, three down

↑ Playoff hopes alive – Boston needed a regulation win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they got it in style. The game really seemed headed for overtime, which would've clinched a spot for Minnesota, but Brandt had other plans. Minnesota, Ottawa and Boston are all still vying for the final two spots.

↓ Girard injured – Boston's Taylor Girard was injured in the second period on a non-contact play. She turned in front of the bench, her foot seemingly catching on a bit of the ice, and her left leg twisted and extended awkwardly into a split. She was helped off and wasn't putting any weight on the leg.

↑ Emma Söderberg's brilliance – Söderberg had a fantastic game in net for Boston, and she's truly the reason why they were able to win this one. Minnesota poured it on over the 60 minutes and had so many high-quality scoring chances, but she was a brick wall in goal and kept them in it. She finished the game with 31 saves.

↓ Getting shots on net – Both teams struggled at points of the game. Boston didn't record a shot on goal for a lengthy stretch early on, while Minnesota was trying late in the game, but kept shooting wide for one reason or another.

↑ Don't Pannek – After scoring twice in the first 19 games of the season, Kelly Pannek has now scored twice in her last three games. Getting hot at the right moment is a great asset for any team, but especially so when the team is still fighting for its playoff spot. If head coach Ken Klee & co. can capitalize on players like Pannek and their hot streaks, they'll find success going forward.

↓ Minnesota's power play – Neither of these teams has been very effective on the power play this season - they're the bottom two in the league in that regard - but Minnesota went o-3 with one opportunity in each period. Special teams are one of those things that could make or break the season at this point, so they've got to be sharper. (Boston's notoriously poor power play got on the board with Müller's tally.)

VP's Player of the Game

Sidney Morin – Great vision by Morin set up the game-winning goal for Boston. She was at the far end of the ice and saw the opening to make the stretch pass way up to Knight at the other end, who in turn created the Brandt goal. She also had three shots on goal in 15:10.

  • Game replay link (YouTube) – The PWHL has started posting "condensed game archive" video, after taking their videos private after broadcast as of late. Check their video uploads page for the game archive content as it becomes available. (This game is not yet as of press time.)
  • Game data

(Photo: Kelly Hagenson/PWHL)